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by Striped Giraffe Team
27. July 2022
Time to read: 6 Minutes

B2B E-commerce — Reality Falls Short of Expectations

Digital transformation is increasingly raising B2B buyers’ expectations for their e-commerce experience.

For the first time ever, e-commerce has become the number one channel for B2B purchases.

Already half of B2B buyers say they regularly use online stores to place orders, compared to only 28% two years ago. E-commerce now outperforms email, phone and even sales reps as the most popular channel.

E-Commerce ist der wichtigste Vertriebskanal im B2B

This makes it all the more surprising how much this channel is still neglected in many companies.

B2B buyers find online purchasing frustrating

The main reason lies in the unsatisfactory condition of today’s B2B portals. You can hardly find a B2B buyer who has not encountered some issues with their online shopping experience.

Most of the frustration comes from insufficient or missing features, such as the ability to track deliveries, up-to-date and comprehensive product descriptions, an intuitive checkout, the ability to repeat orders, or easy access to order history and account information.

Challenges for B2B online buyers

One costly result of customer dissatisfaction is switching suppliers. 90% of B2B buyers say they would turn to a competitor if a supplier’s digital channel did not meet their needs. And in practice, most actually do. Over a half of businesses (53%) have switched suppliers for all purchases in the last 12 months. (1)

B2B buyers will change suppliers for a better online experience

Therefore, a key consideration for B2B sellers today is no longer just to have an online store, but to offer the best possible CX online. And that requires investments in technology.

More and more B2B sellers seem to understand this, making digital commerce tech one of their priorities, with investments in e-commerce software at the forefront.

E-commerce platforms are the top B2B technology investment

However, the high level of customer frustration indicates that even with the right software solution, B2B companies often fail to implement it properly.

The biggest challenge turns out to be integration with other systems. And without it, self-service, automation or providing a consistent experience across all channels is not possible.

Difficulties with the implementation of a store system

These challenges can be solved best with an experienced service provider who specializes in B2B portals.


(1) Source: “The B2B Future Shopper Report 2021”, Wunderman Thompson, 2021

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